Nearly three years ago, Marine veteran Nicholas Thom came to CrossFit Rubicon without his legs and without some of his fingers. Eager to become a member, he inquired about monthly rates.
Dave "Chef" Wallach, owner of the Vienna, Va., affiliate, would only accept $1.
"And therein started a program that's now moving into our third year that anyone who's been injured in the line of duty—military, law enforcement or first responder—they and their family train with us for $1 a month," he says.
That program has since grown, and last year CrossFit Rubicon hosted the 2012 Working Wounded Games, a competition for amputees and severely wounded veterans. Workouts included one-arm sled pulls and seated wall-ball shots.
Calling someone an "adaptive athlete" is the highest form of praise at CrossFit Rubicon, Wallach says.
"It's their capacity to adapt and overcome far greater than any of what we would call able-bodied athletes that puts them above and beyond any of the commitment, any of the focus and any of the achievement that I've ever seen done by an athlete that has all their limbs," he explains.